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Recently in Doughnuts Category


The doughnuts, it's been established, are out in force. But the snow cones and popsicles aren't far behind.

Melissa Yen, creator of Jo Snow Syrups, will be setting up shop at several farmers markets starting in June with her Japanese hand-cranked ice shaver (below) and syrups inspired by the markets.

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She'll sell snow cones ($3) -- think blackberry lavender -- and a Taiwanese dessert called bao bing, shaved ice topped with her syrups, sweet red beans and condensed milk.

If you've never partaken in the colorful, delicious tradition of Asian shaved ice desserts, you're in for a treat; it's been too long since I've had halo-halo, the Filipino version loaded with jackfruit, young coconut and other fruits. Yen's bao bing will range from $5 to $6, depending on the ingredients.

Yen will be at the Lincoln Square market on Thursdays, the Forest Park market on Fridays and Logan Square on Sundays. She also will sell her syrups at the Andersonville market every third Wednesday.

Also at the Andersonville and Lincoln Square markets, and giving helado vendors a run for their money, will be Salted Caramel's Ginna Haravon, who will be offering chocolate mole pudding pops and Thai mango yogurt pops, as well as inspired ice cups (watermelon coriander, lemon-rasberry-goat cheese). Haravon, who built her company around a bag of bacon bourbon caramel corn, also will sell at the Park Ridge and Jefferson Park markets.

Her pops and ices will sell for between $3.50 and $4.

DirtyBettyPressPhoto.jpg [photo courtesy Cookie Bar]

The Cookie Bar in Lincoln Park is getting into the doughnut game.

On Wednesday, its one-year anniversary, the bakery at 2475 N. Lincoln will begin selling doughnuts -- 10 varieties daily, baked not fried -- in a pop-up format under the name Dirty Betty's.

Unlike the River North sensation Doughnut Vault, with its unpredictable hours and tweets like "3 glazed left, 350 people in line," Dirty Betty's will keep regular hours.

So, from 7 to 10 a.m. weekdays, the Cookie Bar (as Dirty Bety's) will sell only doughnuts, then close up shop until 1 p.m., when it re-opens selling its cookies and any doughnuts left over from the morning, says co-owner Joe Bova. The bakery is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., offering all its carb-laden goodness.

Bova and co-owner Jeff Steinberg are fully aware and enamored of the doughnut-as-trend. (Even Scott Harris of the Francesca's empire has a doughnut shop in the works for Bucktown.) "We fell for it years ago in Portland and Seattle," Bova says.

The Cookie Bar's spin: slightly healthier doughnuts. Or, at least, doughnuts minus the hydrogenated oils and other unnatural stuff. Flavors will include Nutella-glazed banana, blueberry with lemon glaze and ginger-Key lime. They'll sell for between $2 and $2.25 a piece.

Who's Betty? She was a character Bova developed in his former life, as an animator in Los Angeles, for a project that never got off the ground.

"Our slogan is 'Dirty Betty's, Good Clean Fun,' " he says.

tumblr_lih77hIqte1qey8tk.jpg [doughnut porn, courtesy the Doughnut Vault]

The Doughnut Vault, a slip of a shop (in a former bank vault) at 401 1/2 N. Franklin (anyone else have a soft spot for businesses with 1/2 in their addresses?), opened this morning.

It's a cash-only, walkup-window operation from the people behind Gilt Bar (in the same building) and Maude's Liquor Bar. It's been taunting for months.

Dougnnuts on offer daily: buttermilk ($2), a gingerbread "stack," which is as it sounds ($3) and three varieties of glazed -- vanilla, chocolate and chestnut ($3). There will be daily specials. The coffee ($1) is from Metropolis. And I'm told there is talk of a doughnut truck -- which would actually take the form of an armored car.

As hesitant as I am to link to anything from FoxNews, I can't help but share Shephard Smith's horror at this concoction, which came from a bar owner in Georgia who had run out of hamburger buns, so he just started slipping his cheeseburgers (with bacon, no less!) in between the halves of a Krispy Kreme donut. But maybe we can help to fund healthcare reform by slapping a big tax on these, seeing as how they are a one-way ticket to the cardiologist.

Rolling in the dough

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Spent the Labor Day weekend being a tourist in our own city. Took the girls swimming, to Navy Pier and to dinner at Quartino.

Why Quartino? It's comfortably loud and thus, kid-friendly. The pomodoro sauce has been deemed by the 4-year-old to be the best in the city. The assortment of noshes (veal meatballs, broccoli rabe) always pleases her parents to no end. And -- the doughnuts.

We almost passed up dessert, thinking we'd grab ice cream elsewhere on our way back to the hotel, but the server eyed our two munchkins and offered up the magical word: "Zeppole?" TIN_opafest_P6.jpg

Airy and tender, they melted -- literally melted -- in the mouth. Heck, they nearly melted on our fingers as we gently pried them apart. As if eating them piecemeal was going to make them last longer. (Did we mention the ramekin of warm, dark chocolate dipping sauce?)

Enough with the cupcakes. Let's hear it for fried dough.

Luckily, Rick Bayless has thrown down the gauntlet in today's Food pages, promising his churros at Xoco, his new takeout shop -- perhaps you've heard of it? -- to be the best in the world.

We admit: Since we were stuck at the office, we Twitter-stalked Xoco for a good portion of its opening day yesterday. Thank goodness for WaitWatcher and the chef himself for letting us know just how quickly (or not) the line moved.

Anyway, we'll get there soon enough. We're just tickled that fried dough is getting Top Chef treatment. Churros and zeppole -- different animals. But as far as we're concerned, all part of one big, happy family.

Well-heeled fashionistas will no doubt descend on 15 E. Oak on April 16 for the opening of the new Barneys New York store. Foodies might also want to drop by (not that the two groups are mutually exclusive but one group tends to be a little more, shall we say, disciplined when it comes to stuffing one's piehole).

But why Barney's, you ask? Because from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the store will offer champagne and doughnuts to visitors! And not just any doughnuts. Mindy Segal doughnuts -- 3,000 brioche doughnuts, according to Jill Katz, who's handling publicity for the event.

The store initially wanted to go with a local caterer but Katz and her team "quickly guided them in another route" -- namely, in the direction of James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef Segal.

Don't know what the new black is in the fashion world, but in our world, doughnuts are the new cupcake.

The Barneys event is open to the public.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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